So I Stand, Still Boring and Bored

Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum (Photo credit: sharnik)

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I have a hard time being bored, which accounts for many of my more eccentric decisions over the years. My most recent has been to take off for the next six months to the Middle East and parts unknown before I start working full-time. The one trip for sure is to Turkey for a few weeks and then figure out where else to go. Its the first time in 11 years I will be leaving the country and Im both overwhelmed and really excited to see what the world will look like outside of my current vantage point.

I truly believe that the larger world needs to be experienced, to be seen, in order to have a life worth living. There are so many wondrous things that you cant understand until you are standing in front of a pyramid, or the wall, or the people. You will miss the hum of other cultures, the sharp smells and the bright amazing colors. Americans really are drab in comparison. And thats just what man has put on, there are so many other things that are just the world’s offerings. Canyons and rivers and deserts and Dead seas.

Both times traveling now I will be going to cultures that are extremely foreign to the Western way of life. In the Middle East, being a woman is going to be an entirely different experience. Men will be overly formal and have difficulty discussing topics in the same way as when just men are present. Ive already had the experience of being out with my best friend in a Middle Eastern store, reaching out to scratch his back and he pulled away and put a scowl on his face. He didnt even realize he’d done it – but apparently thats what men do in the Middle East when some forward girl touches them – pull away and make it seem like they did not like it. We will not be allowed to hang out just the two of us very often, because men and women do not really interact. Women, of course, get more access to other women in the Middle East. He has never really gone into the private portion of his friends’ homes or met their wives: men stay in the front, public sections of the home when visiting. Then theres the whole everything is transacted in cash, which I suppose will prepare me for living in NYC where you have minimum purchase amounts, if there even is a card machine available. And living in a primarily Muslim country, when Ive had very little association with the religion in the States. So I have to pick a few more countries to visit and figure out how to function in the oldest of the old worlds. No more being bored – its adventure time.